DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

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zeal
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by zeal » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:43 am

found some really great info on modding game controllers here.

PaulF
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by PaulF » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:46 am

Hello,

I recently found this thread, and would definitely like to build one similar to it.

I was looking at the switches on the website you linked (rapid electronics), and they offer the switches in momentary and latching.
Would it be best to have momentary on the letter keys, and latching for caps lock?
I'm fairly new to electronics, so I think I have an idea between the two, but I just wanted to make sure and ask.


Edit: thought about it a bit more and I realized latching would be used if I used the shift key, caps lock is already like a latching switch, so it wouldn't work.

Thanks for this great thread,

Paul Fehr
Last edited by PaulF on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

zeal
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by zeal » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:57 am

momentary is the way to go, latching switches act as if you are holding down the key. the caps lock key is already sort of auto latching - tap it momentarily once for caps, tap again for uncaps.

you could achieve the same result by using a latching switch on the shift key. the advantage of that is if you use any numeric characters, they'll be shifted too where as the cap lock will only effect letters.

PaulF
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by PaulF » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:04 am

zeal wrote:momentary is the way to go, latching switches act as if you are holding down the key. the caps lock key is already sort of auto latching - tap it momentarily once for caps, tap again for uncaps.

you could achieve the same result by using a latching switch on the shift key. the advantage of that is if you use any numeric characters, they'll be shifted too where as the cap lock will only effect letters.

Yeah thanks for that, I realized that a bit after I posted the question, just hadn't refreshed the page.

AlexMC
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:25 am

zeal wrote:momentary is the way to go, latching switches act as if you are holding down the key. the caps lock key is already sort of auto latching - tap it momentarily once for caps, tap again for uncaps.

you could achieve the same result by using a latching switch on the shift key. the advantage of that is if you use any numeric characters, they'll be shifted too where as the cap lock will only effect letters.
Using a latching switch on the shift would allow you to 'shift' ALL keys to their upper-case output as indicated... but it wouldn't give you a visible reference as to which 'bank' you are using... which is why I used the CAPS LOCK key (with a bit of extra scripting to get AutoHotkey to read the CAPS status in order to trigger different outputs) and relocated the CAPS LED from the PCB to the top surface of the case.

You could achieve the same thing by using a latching DPDT switch on the SHIFT key, and connecting a 9V battery, LED and couple of resistors on the second pole to indicate whether SHIF is on or off.

Personally I think it better to use CAPS and the existing LED. I can provide the suitable script modifications if you need!

PaulF
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by PaulF » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:44 pm

Anyone know where I can buy 16 of those switches shipped in the US?

The rapid electronics link, wants more or less £16 for the switches, but £37 for the shipping to Texas. And I have found them online but at $5 USD each, while rapid electronics sells them for $1.50 USD, just a huge amount of shipping.

Thats the only thing keeping me down. Those switches are not available where I live, so I have to buy online.

Big edit:

Ok, so for the past hour or two, I have been playing with glovepie, midiyoke, and a usb keyboard. I cannot get it to work.

I tell glovepie to use Midiyoke 1 for output, and i tell a random letter for input. In live, I made midiyoke1 as input and output in the midi sync tab, along with track and remote turned on for midi yoke1.
When i hit the midi key assign button, and select to arm a track, it doesn't register me hitting anything.

My glovepie script is this:
midi.channel1.Control20 = Keyboard.B
Also, I need this footcontroller to send midi messages, does autohotkey support that? Because with live, I can use the keymap function, but also want to use it with NI guitar rig, which only supports midi.


Thanks,
Paul Fehr

friend_kami
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by friend_kami » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:54 am

you need to specify the right usb device aswell.
if you have 4 usb keyboards hooked up, glovepie will see 4 usb keyboards on 4 different places, so you need to tell glovepie to register that keyboard to press to this specific keyboard you have hacked open.

zeal
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by zeal » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:14 am

PaulF wrote:Anyone know where I can buy 16 of those switches shipped in the US?

The rapid electronics link, wants more or less £16 for the switches, but £37 for the shipping to Texas. And I have found them online but at $5 USD each, while rapid electronics sells them for $1.50 USD, just a huge amount of shipping.

Thats the only thing keeping me down. Those switches are not available where I live, so I have to buy online.
you might want to check out this ebay store -
http://stores.ebay.com.au/PARTSPIPE

they've got free shipping and are cheapish.

indiependente
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by indiependente » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:52 pm

PaulF wrote: Also, I need this footcontroller to send midi messages, does autohotkey support that? Because with live, I can use the keymap function, but also want to use it with NI guitar rig, which only supports midi.


Thanks,
Paul Fehr
I believe NI Guitar Rig also supports keyboard mapping...

wasoota
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by wasoota » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:31 pm

PaulF wrote:Anyone know where I can buy 16 of those switches shipped in the US?
There's also always http://www.mouser.com and http://www.smallbearelec.com. The latter is a little more expensive but easier to find your way around because they specialize on DIY pedal building.

ohrobot
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by ohrobot » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:08 pm

AlexMC wrote:
Those are double-pole, double-throw switches... meaning that each switch has two positions (ON/OFF) and can control 2 circuits simultaneously. For our purpose we only need one circuit switched, so we only use one 'side' of the switch, but for the sake of understanding think of the switch as being split down the middle, with both halves working symmetrically. WHatever happens on one side also happens on the other (whilst there is no interaction betweem each 'side').

If I recall correctly, if you look at the base of the switch, one side is marked '1 2 3' and the other marked M (for momentary). When the switch is OFF (i.e. undepressed), 2 and 3 are shorted (as are the equivalent lugs on the 'other side' of the switch). When you press the switch (ON), 1 and 2 are shorted (as are, again, the equivalent lugs on the other side). I.e. '2' is the common lug, so connect one conductor to this lug (i.e. the middle 'leg'). Hook the second conductor to lug 1. When the switch is depressed, one will be shorted to the other and you'll get a keyboard output. I would just use the side with the numbers and ignore the other side of the switch!

Hope this helps!
sorry for asking again but i am really stuck here.

okay, i ignore the "M" side. i have two wires coming from the keyboard controller (when i shorten them by simply crossing the wires i get a keyboard hit, so far so good).
now i connect one wire to the "1" lug and the other one to the "2" lug of the momentary switch (http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-C ... ches/79208). ... but nothing happens!

actually by trying with my multimeter all possible shortenings i couldn't find any where pushing the button shortens the circuit. what's my mistake?

i would be really happy for any hint!

AlexMC
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:24 am

ohrobot wrote:
AlexMC wrote:
Those are double-pole, double-throw switches... meaning that each switch has two positions (ON/OFF) and can control 2 circuits simultaneously. For our purpose we only need one circuit switched, so we only use one 'side' of the switch, but for the sake of understanding think of the switch as being split down the middle, with both halves working symmetrically. WHatever happens on one side also happens on the other (whilst there is no interaction betweem each 'side').

If I recall correctly, if you look at the base of the switch, one side is marked '1 2 3' and the other marked M (for momentary). When the switch is OFF (i.e. undepressed), 2 and 3 are shorted (as are the equivalent lugs on the 'other side' of the switch). When you press the switch (ON), 1 and 2 are shorted (as are, again, the equivalent lugs on the other side). I.e. '2' is the common lug, so connect one conductor to this lug (i.e. the middle 'leg'). Hook the second conductor to lug 1. When the switch is depressed, one will be shorted to the other and you'll get a keyboard output. I would just use the side with the numbers and ignore the other side of the switch!

Hope this helps!
sorry for asking again but i am really stuck here.

okay, i ignore the "M" side. i have two wires coming from the keyboard controller (when i shorten them by simply crossing the wires i get a keyboard hit, so far so good).
now i connect one wire to the "1" lug and the other one to the "2" lug of the momentary switch (http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-C ... ches/79208). ... but nothing happens!

actually by trying with my multimeter all possible shortenings i couldn't find any where pushing the button shortens the circuit. what's my mistake?

i would be really happy for any hint!
Hmm... sounds like you have done everything correctly; I can't imagine why it's not working.

Did you check whether shorting 2-3 works (switch both depressed and undepressed)? If you're not getting a signal across 2-3 then you have a problem with your meter or switch. Those buttons have to be pressed until you get a positive 'click' (kinda hard with your fingers, especially when trying to use a meter simultaneously!

ohrobot
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by ohrobot » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:11 am

AlexMC wrote: Hmm... sounds like you have done everything correctly; I can't imagine why it's not working.

Did you check whether shorting 2-3 works (switch both depressed and undepressed)? If you're not getting a signal across 2-3 then you have a problem with your meter or switch. Those buttons have to be pressed until you get a positive 'click' (kinda hard with your fingers, especially when trying to use a meter simultaneously!
thank you very much for your respond.
yes, when i shorten 2 and 3 i get a static signal (so neither the switch nor the meter is completely broken :) ).. but pushing the button doesn't interrupt the signal. so there must be something about the switch. however I tried others as well and even fully soldiered one to be able to push with "power". but pushing itself never changes something. hmm ..

should i feel a physical click by "successfully" pushing the button (because i don't)?

AlexMC
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by AlexMC » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:47 am

ohrobot wrote:
AlexMC wrote: Hmm... sounds like you have done everything correctly; I can't imagine why it's not working.

Did you check whether shorting 2-3 works (switch both depressed and undepressed)? If you're not getting a signal across 2-3 then you have a problem with your meter or switch. Those buttons have to be pressed until you get a positive 'click' (kinda hard with your fingers, especially when trying to use a meter simultaneously!
thank you very much for your respond.
yes, when i shorten 2 and 3 i get a static signal (so neither the switch nor the meter is completely broken :) ).. but pushing the button doesn't interrupt the signal. so there must be something about the switch. however I tried others as well and even fully soldiered one to be able to push with "power". but pushing itself never changes something. hmm ..

should i feel a physical click by "successfully" pushing the button (because i don't)?
Yes - if you don't hear and feel the 'click' then you haven't pushed the switch hard enough. Bear in mind these are footswitches, therefore require considerable pressure when you are using your fingertip!

If you want to email me directly - alex.mcgregor (at) plymouth.ac.uk... I'll try and respond as soon as I can!

ohrobot
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Re: DIY Ableton foot controller build thread!

Post by ohrobot » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:28 pm

AlexMC wrote: Yes - if you don't hear and feel the 'click' then you haven't pushed the switch hard enough. Bear in mind these are footswitches, therefore require considerable pressure when you are using your fingertip!
oooh, how embarassing. it really was me not pushing hard enough... thank you so much for your help! i'll post a photo of my 4x4 foot-switch matrix soon :)

btw. is there a tool for mac converting keyboard input into midi commands?

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